- Tobacco Products Control Amendment Bill 2017 passes WA Parliament
- Western Australia set to become the first State in Australia to make it illegal for children to sell tobacco products in retail outlets
The Tobacco Bill fulfils an election commitment made to the people of Western Australia to reduce the harm caused by smoking and to tighten the policing of tobacco laws.
The reforms build upon the State's existing tobacco laws, and now gives WA some of the toughest tobacco laws in the country.
Under the new laws, WA will become the first State in Australia to make it illegal for employees under the age of 18 to sell tobacco products in retail outlets.
Other changes included in the approved legislation include:
- banning the sale of fruit and confectionery-flavoured, and split-pack cigarettes - bringing WA in line with the rest of Australia;
- stopping tobacco sales at events such as music festivals or other public events;
- preventing the inclusion of tobacco purchases in shopping reward schemes;
- requiring graphic health warnings to be displayed beside price signage for tobacco products;
- further restricting the public display of tobacco products or smoking implements (except cigars and cigar cutters) inside specialist tobacco stores; and
- streamlining the administrative functions related to the licensing of tobacco retailers and appointment of authorised officers under the Act.
Most of the new laws will take effect after six months, to allow sufficient time for the tobacco sellers to understand and adjust to the new arrangements.
The restrictions on children selling tobacco products will commence after two years, to provide smaller retailers with additional time to adjust to the change.
Comments attributed to Health Minister Roger Cook:
"Smoking represents a significant burden on families, our society and our health system, and as a Government we will continue to find ways to reduce the terrible harm that it causes.
"These new measures are part of our fight to make smoking less appealing, and as a result of our efforts, we have already seen a considerable reduction in the number of smokers in Western Australia. In 2016, just under nine per cent of people aged 16 and over were daily smokers, down from 16 per cent in 2004.
"These new laws will complement strong public education campaigns and support for smokers to quit and live longer and healthier lives.
"Western Australia is taking steps to regain its reputation as a leader in tobacco control, and these new laws will help reduce death and disease caused by smoking."
Minister's office - 6552 6500